Blackrock’s run to a second Co-op SuperStores Cork Premier SHC final in three years has comprised five games and the city side have only conceded two goals in that time.
Sunday’s 3-21 to 0-21 semi-final triumph over Erin’s Own brought the tally of goals scored to eight. Given that last year’s title defence ended with a 4-22 to 3-19 loss to Midleton, manager Louis Mulqueen was keen to see the newer trend continue.
“Stopping goals was the key thing,” he says.
“When you concede four goals, how can you win? That’s been a big part of our campaign so far – the defending, the tackling, the hooking, the blocking.
“We’re not conceding too much at the moment – I hold my breath on that before we go to a county final! – but that’s a platform to work from.
“We have guys who can get scores, once we get the ball to them.”
The Rockies will face St Finbarr’s in the final after Tadhg Deasy, Michael O’Halloran and Robbie Cotter all found the net in the second half, though it took time to escape the clutches of Erin’s Own.
“Our plan was to win the puckouts and get on the breaks but they were getting on the breaks,” Mulqueen says.
“They were then getting points when we should have been. We looked at it at half-time and assessed that the ball wasn’t going in quickly enough to Alan [Connolly] and Robbie. When it went in in the second half, they did the damage.
“From our point of view, it was a job well done but we’re not overly happy that we have played to our potential yet and there’s three weeks to try to work on that.”
And, if the form of attackers like Cotter or Deasy is maintained, Mulqueen is hopeful that they can grace a higher stage.
“Looking at Robbie’s form this year – and not telling other people their job – Pat Ryan needs to have a look at people like him,” he says.
“Looking at his potential, he’s got feet, he’s got the eye, it’s just his confidence – when that comes, he will be a Cork hurler of the future and I think Tadhg Deasy could be too.
“I’m only seeing it in my first year but Cork have a lot of talent coming through and what I like lately is that there’s a bit of physicality in this championship. I think that’ll stand to Cork senior hurlers as you go along.
“There are lots of hits out there but there’s nobody looking for frees. Everyone is taking them and giving them and that’s the way Munster hurling is. It’s a big, physical game and Cork are now going in that right direction.”